Heat waves are once again upon us. There’s hot summer weather—and then there are heat waves. Much like other natural disasters, heat waves can be very dangerous. Here are 4 ways you can cope with heat waves and stay cool during hot weather.
- Dress Appropriately
Even though it might seem obvious, you must dress appropriately when there is a heat wave. If you must work or be outside, wear comfortable, light-coloured clothing that is UV-protective and moisture-wicking. This will help keep you a little bit cooler by absorbing sweat and preventing sunburn on your skin. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and apply sunscreen to your face, hands, and any other exposed skin areas.
- Avoid Strenuous Outdoor Activities
If possible, take part in outdoor activities during the morning hours, or postpone them until evening when temperatures are cooler. Take a lot of rest periods in the shade. If you’re working outside in the heat, and the activity makes your heart pound or you’re gasping for breath, stop and get inside to cool off and rest, especially if you feel lightheaded, disoriented or faint. Employ the buddy system as well. Check on your co-workers if you’re working outside in the heat and ask them to do the same for you. Heat-related illness might make you confused or possibly lose consciousness.
- Stay Hydrated
Your body cools itself through perspiring, but this moisture loss needs to be replaced frequently. Even if you’re not thirsty, you must consume plenty of fluids if you must be outside during a heat wave. Avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks; these will actually make you lose more fluids. Additionally, you should avoid really cold drinks. You must think that’s ridiculous. Ice-cold water, though, can actually make your stomach hurt.
- Protect those most at risk
Anyone can get sick from the heat, but some people are more vulnerable than others. During a heat wave, make sure to check on anyone you live with or know who falls into one of these categories frequently.
- Infants and young children
- The elderly or sick
- People who are overweight
- People without air conditioning
- People who work outside
It should go without saying that you should never leave children or dogs in a car as the temperature inside can climb even with the window cracked, heat wave or not.